Orange County to be represented at the National History Day finals in Maryland

Next month, 62 award-winning history projects from California will compete in Maryland against other top National History Day submissions from throughout the country.

Among them will be eight entries from Orange County — including seven from the Irvine Unified School District and three alone from Irvine’s Sierra Vista Middle School.

Students and staff from Sierra Vista Middle School

Students and staff from Irvine’s Sierra Vista Middle School participated in the California National History Day competition earlier this month, earning “champion” honors in the categories of group documentary, individual performance and individual website.

For the uninitiated, National History Day contests are held at the local, county, state and national levels, challenging students to conduct extensive research on a historical topic before producing museum-type exhibits, documentaries, websites, original performances, posters or traditional research papers.

Students work in groups or as individuals on their projects, which reflect an annual theme and are judged by category. This year’s theme is “Conflict and Compromise in History.”

In March, more than 450 young historians took part in the National History Day-Orange County competition hosted by OCDE, and 59 entries from 19 schools advanced to the California National History Day competition.

Held in Rocklin, Calif., the state event on May 5 and May 6 drew nearly 1,500 students from 270 schools in 27 counties, along with more than 240 historians, educators and other professionals who interviewed participants and evaluated their work.

When the state winners were announced on May 6, four projects from schools in Irvine Unified had been declared champions in the junior division, including three from IUSD’s Sierra Vista Middle School.

“There is no substitute for hard work,” Sierra Vista teacher Jonathan Millers told the OCDE Newsroom, “and I am so proud of all the work our students put into their National History Day projects.”

“I love NHD because the students become the teachers of their selected topic and the adults then have the opportunity to become the students of these worldly relevant events,” Principal Lynn Matassarin added.

Irvine’s Rancho San Joaquin Middle School also took top honors in the junior division, as did Shorecliff Middle School in the Capistrano Unified School District.

In the senior division, projects from Irvine’s Northwood, Portola and University high schools were each named champions within their respective categories.

Other Orange County schools were runners-up or took home honorable mention. But the champion entries will go on to compete at the 2018 National Contest, which will be held June 10 through June 14 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Below is a list of the projects and students that will represent Orange County. For a complete list of state winners, visit the National History Day-California website.

Zane Pert and his National History Day project

Zane Pert of Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente displays his award-winning “The Mono Lake Conflict: A Legendary Water Compromise” exhibit.

ORANGE COUNTY JUNIOR CHAMPIONS (GRADES 6-8)

Group Documentary
ExComm: The Compromise Between Hawks and Doves”
Ethan Chen, Rachel Gima and Daniel Yang
Sierra Vista Middle School, Irvine Unified School District

Individual Documentary
The One-Child Policy: A Temporary Compromise”
Erin Jeon
Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, Irvine Unified School District

Individual Exhibit
The Mono Lake Conflict: A Legendary Water Compromise”
Zane Pert
Shorecliffs Middle School, Capistrano Unified School District

Individual Performance
Mendez v. Westminster: Conflict and Compromise in Segregated Education”
Jasmine Chhabria
Sierra Vista Middle School, Irvine Unified School District

Individual Website
The Chinese Exclusion Act: Conflict in Immigration”
Alyssa Tang
Sierra Vista Middle School, Irvine Unified School District

ORANGE COUNTY SENIOR CHAMPIONS (GRADES 9-12)

Historical Paper
The Oneida Community: Conflict with Socioreligious Norms and Eventual Compromise”
Alvand Daliri
University High School, Irvine Unified School District

Individual Documentary

The Vietnam Anti-War Movement: How Conflict on the Home Front Compromised American Unity and Course of Action During Wartime”
Michelle Kroll
Northwood High School, Irvine Unified School District

Individual Website
The Hague Convention of 1907: Creating an International Code of Compromise”
Juha Julia Kim
Portola High School, Irvine Unified School District